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Maine Opens to Overnight Cruises, Negative COVID-19 Test Required
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Celebrity Millennium (Photo: Celebrity Cruises)
Celebrity Millennium (Photo: Celebrity Cruises)

Celebrity Cruises Announces June Caribbean Cruises From St. Maarten

Celebrity Millennium (Photo: Celebrity Cruises)
Celebrity Millennium (Photo: Celebrity Cruises)

March 19, 2021

Chris Gray Faust
Executive Editor, U.S.

(10:30 a.m. EDT) -- Celebrity Cruises took a major step forward for cruising Friday and announced it would bring Celebrity Millennium to homeport in St. Maarten for Caribbean cruises, beginning June 5. The short season will run through August and have two different weeklong itineraries. One takes in Aruba, Curacao and Barbados, and the other will visit Tortola, St. Lucia and Barbados. The ship will require all passengers above the age of 18 to be vaccinated; crew will also be vaccinated. Children under the age of 18 will require a negative PCR test for COVID-19 within 72 hours of embarkation. The 2,218-passenger ship will start sailing at 40 percent capacity. In addition, passengers must meet

St. Maarten’s travel requirements

, which currently include presenting a negative PCR test taken within 72-hours of arrival to the island. To satisfy requirements to get back into the United States, all passengers will take an antigen test at disembarkation and be given paperwork to confirm a negative result. The move to an international homeport that is easily accessible from the United States is a welcome one to people who have received their COVID-19 vaccines and are ready to hit the high seas. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has so far stymied cruise ships from returning to American homeports. {#widget:youtube|embed:OKL_Xc0euu4#}"Returning to the Caribbean after more than a year away is such a significant moment for us. It marks the measured beginning of the end of what has been a uniquely challenging time for everyone," Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said in a news release. "We have been in constant contact with the leadership of St. Maarten these past months to support each other and share learnings and best practices. That we're able to offer people the opportunity to safely vacation onboard the revolutionized Celebrity Millennium, is incredible, and that we will sail from the magical island of St. Maarten is very special. "I am forever grateful for the support and collaboration of the St. Maarten government."The line will implement different health and safety protocols based on Royal Caribbean Group's Healthy Sail Panel. Those currently require masks in public places and social distancing onboard, as well as ship-sponsored excursions in port; however, those mandates could change as more is learned about how vaccines impact the spread of COVID-19. "We are monitoring public health guidance daily and will follow the science and the recommendations of our Healthy Sail Panel of medical and public health experts to determine exact requirements prior to the resumption of our first sailings in June. We will notify all guests of the protocols in place prior to their sailing," a line spokesperson said. In its announcement, Celebrity said it will offer "a range of curated tours for all interests and price points at every port of call." Private Journeys and Small Group Discovery Tours will also be available for passengers who want to explore the destinations with only members of their family or traveling group; the cruise line also noted that these requirements could change as public health guidelines evolve.Celebrity Millennium has recently undergone the line's refurbishment program, known as Celebrity Revolution, which brings the older ships more in line with newbuilds Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Apex. The ship now has many new features, including The Retreat for suite guests; redesigned and contemporary cabins and suites; redone restaurants, bars, lounges and boutiques; and new technology that gives digital key access to every cabin door. The cruises open for sale March 25. Sailings start at $1,999 per person for a veranda stateroom. The offer applies to new bookings, and flights must be booked through the line (prices include airfare and taxes). Details on all health and safety measures across the entire Celebrity Cruises vacation experience can be found at


."Having a major cruise line such as Royal Caribbean Group's Celebrity Cruises homeport here is a significant economic milestone for St. Maarten. It's an historic agreement, the fruit of continuous dialogue and a testament to the strength of our longstanding relationship," Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication Ludmila de Weever said. "Celebrity Cruises homeporting here will help rejuvenate our economy and drive opportunities for our people. I would like to thank the management team at the Royal Caribbean Group for their commitment to St. Maarten and their confidence in the Ministry of TEATT as a reliable and responsible partner. I look forward to the successful re-launch of their Caribbean cruising."

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